Kathy Hannon & A Big Lie

If I ever wanted proof that my relatives in Blacksburg were fucked up, I now have ample evidence.
I suppose some backstory is in order. My cousin, Kathy Hannon, visited Mama the other day. And me, as well, since I was there. I hadn’t seen Kathy in at least a a decade.
Now, I should probably explain that Kathy is “not right”, as older people not so delicately put it. Kathy is a sweet woman and can carry on a conversation, but she’s not capable of taking care of some of her own affairs (such as managing her money). She’s child-like in that regard, in that you can carry on a conversation with her, but Kathy would be in trouble if she found herself alone at the mall. She wouldn’t be able to find her way home.
Okay, now you know a few things about Kathy. She visited. I was really glad to see her. It was a pleasant visit. She didn’t stay long. And when she left I walked her to the front porch of the apartment complex and hugged her, and told how great it was to see her, and how I hoped it wouldn’t be so long before I saw her again.
There’s a reason I mention all this. The next day Kathy called someone else she knows in Mama’s apartment complex and was “crying her eyes out” because the matriarch of the Blacksburg clan (who looks over Kathy’s money and comes and takes her to the store and such) told Kathy that Mama had told her that Kathy was driving her crazy, and she (the matriarch) told Kathy not to go bothering Mama again. Well, naturally this broke Kathy’s heart.
Well, the person Kathy called took it upon herself to call Mama. She didn’t think it sounded like something Mama would say. Needless to say, Mama was stunned. She had called the matriarch in question later after Kathy had left because Kathy had mentioned something about them having a box of pictures down there for me (I’ve been begging them for family photos for years). I heard this conversation. Mama mostly talked about how great it was to see Kathy. She certainly never said anything remotely like “Kathy was driving me crazy”.
Well, if confirmation was needed that the person who called Mama wasn’t exaggerating, Mama ran into Kathy at the store today. Poor Kathy wouldn’t look at Mama, and certainly didn’t want to talk to her. Like a child that had been scolded, she froze, not knowing how to deal with the encounter.
Mama told Kathy that she would never say such a thing, and that Kathy could come see her anytime she felt like it. Mama said Kathy warmed a bit after that. But how does someone like Kathy set aside such a huge lie? The person who lied to her is her support system. The person who takes care of her money and takes her where she needs to go. The person who shapes her simple world-view. How could Kathy just dismiss this lie that she was told?
Well, the whole thing shocked Mama. And though she didn’t say so, I could tell that it really hurt her. No one likes to be lied about. Bv mostly I think she just can’t bear the thought that Kathy might believe that she would say something like that.
For my part, it just made me mad. It didn’t surprise me. I’ve been dealing with the pathos of that branch of my family for a long time (that matriarch’s mother was my father’s half-sister). They’re a cultish clique that doesn’t welcome outsiders. I assume that by visiting Mama, Kathy overstepped the carefully laid boundaries that said matriarch had lain out for Kathy. Perhaps in some misguided attempt to keep Kathy from becoming a pest or something. But even if that is so and was done with the best of intentions, she still told a hurtful lie on a good woman and to a good woman. They both deserve better.
I wasn’t surprised by this. As I said, I’ve dealt with their pathos for years. It just makes me mad.

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